Serbia has sealed a three billion euro loan from the International Monetary Fund, according to the country’s economy minister.
Mladjan Dinkic said the money would be made available over two years to help stabilise the economy and reassure foreign investors. It would also prop up the Serb currency, the Dinar, which has lost a quarter of its value since the start of the financial crisis. It comes a day after Romania secured a 20-billion euro loan from the IMF. Several other east European countries have also sought bailouts. Dinkic said that the loan agreement would require public spending cuts. That is likely to mean an 18-month wage freeze for public sector workers, tax increases and price caps to control inflation. Meanwhile a special shop reserved exclusively for people with low incomes has opened in Belgrade. It follows a similar initiative in Slovenia whereby customers can get basic goods at discounts of up to 70 percent.